Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Bzzzzzz.....pfhzzzzzzt. The track lighting in my rental apartment actually made that sound before the lights went dead. This was the last straw. It started a week before the tenants had moved out so I waited until this past weekend to fix the problem. I figured I could screw the thing up in peace without my tenants watching. I was right about that. First thing, I took the power to the track lighting apart and reattached all the wires. When I flipped the breaker back on I had lights, for about a minute. The lights then slowly dimmed and the unmistakable odor of burning electronics wafted past my nose. Quickly I threw the circuit breaker off and dismantled the entire thing including taking down part of the track. I determined that I needed a new section of track and maybe a new connector. So off we went to Home Depot. After the required amount of cursing I reassembled the whole thing and turned on the breaker. Nothing. No lights, no sound of electric death, no acrid odor of burning insulation and plastic. I rechecked the breaker, it was tripped. I had a short. What I haven't mentioned is that my neighbor Stan was helping me out and he was in the bedroom of the apartment repairing a ceiling fan. Both the fan and the track lighting were on the same circuit. It turned out that every time I created an electrical short in the living room, in the other room Stan assumed it was something he did. So he would rewire the fan opposite the way he had it before, thus shorting the circuit again. When I realized what we were doing to each other I gave up. I called an electrician to sort the mess out.

            The electrician came yesterday. When he left everything was working properly. I was so happy that I went into the apartment later in the evening to behold the beauty of working lights. I flipped the switch. That was when it made that sound, Bzzzzzz.....pfhzzzzzzt, and then the lights went dead. I hope the new tenant doesn't notice that there is less track lighting than when she looked at the apartment before renting it. I just couldn't help myself. I pulled the ladder into the room, climbed up, and ripped all of the track lighting out except for one small length that had continued to work. It's like I was told by a friend who also rents property out, "Give the tenant the least possible number of things to break, and you'll live a much happier life."  He was right. I have already cancelled the dishwasher I was going to put in the kitchen, and I am considering replacing the washing machine with a tub and washboard.


  1. This scenario is my worst nightmare. Trying to fix something and *^%$ing it up. Paying someone to fix that same something and they *^%$ it up.
    I hope you drank well last night...

  2. You might consider an outhouse too.